With the potential for rain events increasing just around the corner, it is essential to have a plan in place to manage your storm water discharges before it rains to keep your construction site in compliance to avoid violations and protect water quality. Although sediment and erosion control measures are required year-round, the greatest risk is during the upcoming winter months. Projects will be scrutinized more during this time of year by Regional Water Quality Control Boards and local officials, potentially resulting in enforcement actions being taken against your site if it is not adequately protected.
As you prepare for the upcoming rainy season, the following key areas should be considered:
Training: All personnel working on site should receive training and know how to incorporate Best Management Practices (BMPs) into their activities. Since sediment and pH are the major pollutants of concern from construction sites, the training should include information on sediment and erosion control measures as well as preventing concrete and other pH impacting construction related materials from leaving the site or infiltrating the soil.
BMP Installation: BMPs must be installed properly to be effective. Proper installation requires knowledge and planning. Remember, one BMP doesn’t fit all situations. For example, a silt fence at the toe of a very large slope will not adequately do the job. Sediment controls are to be used in conjunction with erosion controls to keep soil in place such as hydraulic mulch or geotextile blankets.
Sampling: All projects are required to sample storm water run-on and/or run-off when the proper conditions exist, be sure to have a sampling and monitoring plan in place. Having a properly trained site person or contractor is mandatory for Risk Level 2 or 3 sites.
BMP Materials: The contractor should have adequate materials or supplies on site to protect the site perimeter, exposed areas, internal drain inlets and for on-going maintenance and repairs. It will do no good to have materials ordered when the rain arrives… it’s already too late. Erosion and Sediment Control installation companies are extremely busy prior to and during rain events, planning ahead is key, and anticipate material purchases throughout the winter months.
Record Keeping: In storm water compliance, proper record keeping will protect you from problems with the Regional Board Inspectors and local officials since the SWPPP binder and inspections are often the first thing they review, and one of the easiest sources to find violations. The State Permit requires that pre, during, and post-storm inspections be performed, and the records retained onsite. Therefore, documentation of the inspections is required to be a part of the SWPPP.
If you think your site may be in need of a tune-up, would like a SWPPP audit, or have general storm water compliance questions, please contact Alta at 562-495-5777 or email Tim Klein firstname.lastname@example.org or Matthew Renaud email@example.com. While we hope the rain provides your sites with good dust control, it is prudent to plan for a potential monsoon.